Do you remember where you were last Memorial Day weekend? At the beach maybe? With a group of friends? Laughing and drinking and making scrapbook memories? How lovely for you. I spent mine alone, sobbing up against a prop car from the Fast and the Furious while my friends and the guy I was sorta-seeing at the time went full-on fisticuffs in the backyard of our shared shore house. And it all started because I decided not to tell anyone I had been hanging out with said guy.
You see, I come from the opinion that my relationships are really no one’s business but my own. In my book, this rule especially applies to those brand new, gray-area relationships. You know what I’m talking about. You’ve been hanging out for a while now, you see each other fairly regularly; sure, you like the guy…but what would you label him? He’s certainly not your boyfriend. That title implies a level of maturity and commitment the two of you clearly cannot seem to grasp. He’s sorta your hook-up, but sh*t, you never intended to turn into that girl. So it leaves you in the stupid, label-less gray area!
As I so flatteringly displayed above, my friends typically don’t know much about my gray-area relationships. This rarely works to my advantage, so watch me turn a new leaf, everyone! I’m coming up with a new set of rules on when you should divulge info, who said info should be shared with and what’s actually worth sharing. Let’s pray I can actually pay attention to my own advice this time…
The “Is [insert questionable behavior] normal?” Question
Please, it’s appropriate ask these pressing questions to anyone willing to listen. Your friends, your coworkers, the woman who makes your coffee in the morning — all fair game! Seriously, you need to know if it’s normal for a guy you’ve only made out with twice to text you re: his graphic desire to give you a facial. Um…come again, sir? (Pun somewhat intended.)
The Superficial Complaint
His sweaters smell like my dad. His sneakers remind me of a math teacher. Gross, heavy breather alert! He does this thing with his hair when he’s drunk, I don’t know what it is exactly, but it’s not attractive. These are the types of complaints to share with your girlfriends over a few drinks. Have a good laugh, poke some innocent fun, trade stories. No harm done. I would say, however, that after you begin dating someone seriously, scale back on how much you make fun of them. Stand by your man, girls! You’ve got to love him for the good and the ridiculous.
The Serious Complaint
If you feel ignored, under-appreciated, like he’s playing games, cheating on you, lying — try telling him. ASAP. I know the knee-jerk reaction is to run to your girls so they can reassure you that your relationship is fine, but what do they know? It’s your relationship, not theirs. And in light of that, you should really share your deep concerns with your other half before anyone else. Plus, talking behind backs will only get you in trouble.
The “What Should I Do?” Question
If you’re looking for some perspective, head to your guy friends. They’ll serve up a candid answer and also have your best interest at heart. There’s nothing like getting a dude’s opinion when you’re on the fence about whether to text first, apologize after a fight, ask him out or cut things off.
The Text Message
So he texts you. It could be something totally bizarre, or it could be a run-of-the-mill “What’s up?” Girls love showing off all the text attention they receive. Before you tilt your phone so your BFF can read what your boyfriend just confessed, pause for a hot second. Reverse the situation. Ask yourself if it’s something you’d want him sharing with his friends. Then proceed.
The Crazy Reaction Over Something Actually Pretty Insignificant
Avoid this behavior like the bubonic. There’s really nothing more obnoxious than you negatively carrying on over something that was meant to be sweet, complementary or just plain friendly. He’s not a stalker, he’s not obsessed with you. The guy’s probably just trying to be nice. If you’re not interested, be polite and bow out gracefully.
OMG You Totally Love Him!
Or maybe he loves you! Regardless, it’s happy times for all (I hope), and this is definitely another bit of news that deserves to be shared with everyone, from your nearest friends to weird George in advertising. You found love in a hopeless place and the world deserves to know!
So there you have it. Basically what it boils down to — if it’s potentially not very nice, keep it close; if you’re searching for perspectives, hit up your boys; if you’re looking for a laugh, your girls can help; and if it’s happy news, share that mess! Do y’all have any additional tips you rely on? Share them in the comments below!
Alex loves rainbow sprinkles, retro bromances, and cultivating an iTunes library superior to yours. Most days, though, she just wishes she was Courtney Stodden. Got something to say or a good conspiracy theory you’re just dying to share with someone? Follow her on twitter @AlexandraRane or on Tumblr.
[Lead image via Sergey Peterman/Shutterstock]